Archive for June, 2009

$35-40 million will buy you…

 

When it was reported last week that Tech had received a rather sizable donation to help renovate the seating at Alexander Memorial Coliseum, many of you wondered what in the world all that money was going to be spent on.

I did too.

So, I started to do some research.

Virginia’s new hoops palace, the John Paul Jones Arena, cost around $130 million and will seat 15k or so, almost twice as much as the old arena. 

So, there’s your benchmark. Now, Dan Radakovich already said they don’t want to turn AMC into a concert venue. Atlanta already has enough of those, and judging by JPJ’s price tag, a new arena won’t be in the works here. 

With that information, Wayne Hogan and I were discussing the possibilities Monday afternoon, as a pie in the sky exercise. 

Among the things that could be done: the roof could be raised to add more seats, as well as suites (where the big money is). But, AMC is already at 9,191, so do you want more seats?

Replacing all the bench seating with chairback …

Continue reading $35-40 million will buy you… »

AMC and work to be done

The big news out of Tech’s quarterly budget meeting was the large donation made by a yet-to-be named family to help pay to improve the seating at Alexander Memorial Coliseum.

The donation is designed to pay for 1/3 of the cost, which is expected to be at least $30 million. The donation won’t exceed $15 million. The name of the donor will be made public later this year, after the Board of Regents meets.

It was no surprise that Tech’s budget for the 2010 fiscal year is slightly smaller than the budget for 2009. Their endowment took a straight jab to the chin, and ticket sales didn’t quite meet what was budgeted, which was described as aggressive. Who would have predicted when that budget was put together in 2008 that the economy was going to go into the tank and that numerous colleges around the country would be in the red this year?

During the board meeting the 2010 budget was described as being a bit more conservative than the previous year’s, despite the decision to hire …

Continue reading AMC and work to be done »

Money, Money, Money

First, let me say that this is the dead period in college sports. Many coaches are on vacation or holding camps right now. 

So, that’s why I haven’t blogged in a couple of days. That, and I’ve been covering the Mexico-Venezuela game at the Georgia Dome.

However, Thursday is an important day at Tech. On Thursday the Athletic Association will hold its quarterly meeting and will approve the 2010 fiscal year budget.

From talks with various Tech officials, it appears the budget will be similar to last year’s, in the 50-plus million range.

I would be surprised if any new projects are approved considering the AA is still paying off the stadium expansion.

I’ll have a news story in Friday’s paper about the budget.

But, are you stunned at the costs of running an athletics department? It may not be something that many fans think about. I know I don’t for the teams I follow around the world. I want to win, and to do that you need either the best players, or the best players for your …

Continue reading Money, Money, Money »

Looking at the ACC after Decision Day decisions

Esteemed colleague Mark Bradley ranked the nation’s top 10 basketball teams for 2009-10 last week here http://tinyurl.com/msqce 

He also had an interesting column about Paul Hewitt and the expectations for next season here http://tinyurl.com/nutco4

So, that ground has been covered very well. 

I thought I’d take a look at how Lawal’s decision, and those made by other players at other schools, will affect the ACC next season.

First, let’s focus on the Flats. 

Lawal’s return gives coach Paul Hewitt many choices for lineups.

The only potential hole is at the 5 spot. There are two centers on the roster: RS Jr. Brad Sheehan and freshman Daniel Miller. Sheehan, a 7-footer, is a rebounder, but doesn’t score or block shots too frequently. Of course, he may only need to rebound with the scoring potential the rest of the roster has. Miller will be an incoming freshman, so the jury’s out on what kind of impact he’s going to have in the ACC.

Hewitt may opt to not play a true center, and go …

Continue reading Looking at the ACC after Decision Day decisions »

Roddy Jones injury, don’t despair Tech fans

A-Back Roddy Jones did indeed hurt his right wrist earlier this week. Our story can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/nx2clw

Now, everything seems a bit up in the air as of today whether Jones will play in the season-opener against Jacksonville State. Frankly, I’m not sure he’ll be needed for that one, but I would bet the odds are slim that he’ll miss the next one, a Thursday nighter five days laster against Clemson.

You only need to watch film from last year’s wins over Miami and Georgia to see what Jones means to coach Paul Johnson’s spread-based option offense (which needs a new nickname by the way, but that’s a blog for another time). His speed on the edge gives the offense the home-run threat that keeps those safeties back a step or two while the play develops.

So, who will get the call in the A-back positions if Jones were to miss the first game? Marcus Wright and Anthony Allen come to mind. Both are unfairly fast. Wright “saw the elephant” last year, while Allen had to …

Continue reading Roddy Jones injury, don’t despair Tech fans »

Something to tide you over, a Q&A with Josh Nesbitt

Josh Nesbitt will be a lot better this fall, so says coach Paul Johnson.

And he wasn’t saying that because Nesbitt had a bad year last year.

Nesbitt rushed for almost 700 yards and four touchdowns, passed for 800 yards and two more TDs while helping Tech come very close to winning the ACC’s Coastal Division.

And that was just his first season as a starting college quarterback and playing in an offense that was very different than anything he had played before. After all, he was a passing quarterback at Greene County High School.

 

While Nesbitt wouldn’t give up his recipe for pork chops, he did talk about the LSU game, and the expectations for this season (they are quite high).

 When I return, we can talk about Gani Lawal’s decision and how it will affect Tech, as well as the rest of the ACC.

 

 Also, to clarify how the AJC uses blogs: we don’t break news on the blogs, we generally talk about the news that has happened. So, go to ajc.com/sports or …

Continue reading Something to tide you over, a Q&A with Josh Nesbitt »

It’s been a few days, it’ll be a few more

Sorry that I haven’t updated the blog the past few days. I thought the game-rankings blog might generate some interesting conversation, and I was glad to see it did. Thank you for taking the time to post your thoughts. It’s been entertaining reading.

I’m about to start a week’s vacation, and have been trying to come up with a topic that will allow you to talk amongst yourselves.

So, here goes: 

Give me your key individual matchup for each week’s game. If you want to make it really challenging, you can’t use the same matchup twice. 

Thanks, and I look forward to reading your responses.

Continue reading It’s been a few days, it’ll be a few more »

Ranking all of the ACC games

Summertime, and the choosin’s easy.

Actually, it wasn’t.

Last week, Berry Tramel of the Oklahoman ranked the games in the Big 12 this season, from 1 on down.

So, since there’s nothing new under the sun, I thought it’d be fun to rank this year’s ACC games, from one on down.

The criteria was fairly simple: which games would be the most exciting, and have something important riding on them, for the division, the conference, the school’s psyche, the conference’s rep, etc.

You’ll notice the top 10, heck the top 20, are a bit top heavy with games featuring the ACC’s big five: Florida State, Georgia Tech, Miami, North Carolina and Virginia Tech.

It’s also no coincidence that three of those teams: Both Techs and the Heels, are expected to compete for the ACC championship this season.

Don’t give up reading after the first 20. The bottom 10 are also ranked. Couple of Duke games in there. 

So, without further adieu, my pick for the game of the year in the ACC is:

Virginia Tech at …

Continue reading Ranking all of the ACC games »

Alright, the first few football times are announced

As noted here http://tinyurl.com/qa374q Georgia Tech’s first football game won’t be on TV, but the next two doozies, against Clemson and Miami, will.

The ACC released the kickoff times and TV listings for the season’s first few weeks. Here it is:

 

Date Game Network Gametime

Sept. 3 South Carolina at NC State ESPN 7 pm

Sept. 5 Jacksonville State at Georgia Tech ESPN 360.com 1 pm

Sept. 5 Northeastern at Boston College ESPN 360.com 2 pm

Sept. 5 Baylor at Wake Forest ABC/ESPN2* 3:30 pm

Sept. 5 Middle Tennessee at Clemson ESPN 360.com 6 pm

Sept. 5 The Citadel at North Carolina ESPN 360.com 6 pm

Sept. 5 William & Mary at Virginia ESPN 360.com 6 pm

Sept. 5 Richmond at Duke 7 pm

Sept. 5 Alabama vs. Virginia Tech (Ga. Dome) ABC 8 pm

Sept. 5 Maryland at California ESPN2 10 pm

Sept. 7 Miami at Florida State ESPN 8 pm

Sept. 10 Clemson at Georgia Tech ESPN 7:30 pm

Sept. 12 Stanford at Wake Forest Raycom 12 pm

Sept. 12 Marshall at Virginia Tech ESPN 360.com 1:30 pm

Sept. …

Continue reading Alright, the first few football times are announced »

So, what’s next?

This will be a short blog, but hopefully will generate a lot of comments.

It’s June, so things are winding down. The only thing left in the 2008-09 college season for Georgia Tech is track and field, which has a few chances to win individual titles.

There have been several notable achievements by Tech’s teams: beating Georgia in football, winning a game in the ACC men’s basketball tournament, the softball team winning a regional, etc, just to name a few.

What are your favorite memories from this past year. Let’s go ahead and assume beating Georgia is at top of everyone’s list. 

What was your favorite moment and why was it your favorite moment?

Continue reading So, what’s next? »